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Three automobiles are parked at the corner of 18th (Eighteenth) and Stout streets in downtown Denver, Colorado. Men wearing suits sit in the cars; other men stand on the sidewalk in front of storefronts including: Colorado Winton Motor Carriage Company and the Bicycle Supply Company (1761 Stout) and the Schuster & Larimer Plumbing Company (1759 Stout). The awnings of the businesses are tied back. Street scene includes: a young boy on a bicycle, another holds a bicycle tire, and a man sits in the back of a parked truck. A woman peers from behind a curtain in a third-floor, arched window above the Winton Motor Car office.  Date [1902?]  Photograph by Joseph Collier.
Title: Cars in downtown Denver.  Call Number: C-2.   
URL - http://gowest.coalliance.org/cgi-bin/imager?00130002+C-2

Hyperlink to Denver Public Library.
Photograph by Joseph Collier, 1902 - Western History/Genealogy Dept., Denver Public Library
Traffic jam in front of the Colorado Winton Motor Carriage Company and the Bicycle Supply Company.

Three new automobiles at the corner of 18th and Stout Streets in downtown Denver. Businesses pictured include the Colorado Winton Motor Carriage Company and the Bicycle Supply Company. Some of the world's best known automobile brands began as bicycle companies, including Morris in England, Opel in Germany and Peugeot in France. The Dodge brothers built bicycles in Michigan. The Duryeas introduced the women's drop frame with their Sylph bicycles in Massachussets and almost certainly built the automobile that struck a woman cyclist in the first reported accident of its type in New York City on May 30, 1896. In Dayton, Ohio, inventors at the Wright Cycle Company built Van Cleve and St. Clair bicycles to customer specifications while they dreamed of flight. Henry Ford used a bicycle chain to connect a gasoline engine with the driving wheels on his Quadricycle. He hired the famous bicycle racer Barney Oldfield as a racing team driver.



1898  Portland's first automobile was a Locomobile which Henry Wemme had shipped west from Newton, Mass. Contemporary accounts report this first car frightened so many horses that there were numerous runaways. The German immigrant believed that operating his vehicle in Portland during that year caused more runaways than there had been in the preceeding 20 years. In 1900 he sold the machine to a Spokane, Wash. man. Wemme also owned Portland's second automobile, a Hayes-Apperson, which he purchased in Kokomo, Ind. He bought Portland's first Oldsmobile, first Reo and first Pierce Arrow and became president of the Portland Automobile Association. By 1905 there were 218 automobiles in Oregon, 40 of them in Portland. An Oldsmobile two-cylinder touring car sold for $1,550.00 and runabouts were priced at $750.00. The Winton Model C, a four-cylinder model, was priced at $1,800.00 from Portland's Ben Holladay Automobile Company at 495 Alder Street. The luxurious Pierce Arrow sold for $3,650.00.

At the urging of the Portland Automobile Club, the Portland City Council raised the automobile speed limit from 8 to 10 miles per hour in fire limit areas and 15 m.p.h. elsewhere in the city on May 2, 1906.

Sixteenth Street from Champa looking northwest to the May Company.  This Denver street scene shows pedestrians, automobiles, streetcars, bicycles, and horse-drawn wagons.  Date [between 1900 and 1909?]  Formerly F1073.  
URL - http://gowest.coalliance.org/cgi-bin/imager?10023357+X-23357

Hyperlink to Denver Public Library.
Photographer unknown - Western History/Genealogy Dept., Denver Public Library
Bicycles shared downtown Denver's 16th Street with trolleys, automobiles and horse-drawn wagons in the early 1900s.

circa 1902  Crossing a street in downtown Denver or any city at the turn of the century could be an adventure. Horse-drawn wagons and trolleys competed with bicycles and the new automobiles. Pedestrians were reminded to watch their step -- downward -- as well as left and right before attempting any crossing.

Laying sidewalk in Rifle, Garfield County, Colorado circa 1905.  Men work with rakes, a wheelbarrow, tar, and a roller. Boys on horses or a bicycle look on.  Date [between 1905 and 1915?] Call Number X-13183.  Formerly F28425. 

Hyperlink to Denver Public Library.
Photographer unknown - Western History/Genealogy Dept., Denver Public Library
Bicycles

TITLE: NOMS11 
DESCRIPTION: SEE ALSO NOMS12. From
Photographer unknown - Salem Public Library
Bicycles

Men and boys with bicycles view trolleys overturned during the Denver Tramway Company labor strike in August, 1920. The trolleys are in front of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral on Colfax Street in Denver, Colorado.  
Source: James E. Kunkle, Denver Tramway Historian, P.O. Box 2984, Denver, Colorado 80201.  
Call Number: X-18352.  URL: http://gowest.coalliance.org/cgi-bin/imager?10018352+X-18352

Hyperlink to Denver Public Library.
Photographer unknown - Western History/Genealogy Dept., Denver Public Library
Horses pulled the first streetcars, but they were soon replaced by electric motors.

Chicago to New York Auto Race, circa 1913.  While information about this event is elusive, the back of the print includes some handwritten notes about the vehicle depicted. It is a 1913 Imp Cyclecar with two cylinders, 10 to 12 horsepower, and a maximum speed of 50 miles per hour. It sold new for $375.  Cyclecars -- simple, economical vehicles that worked on the same principles as a bicycle -- were relatively new in 1913, and a New York-based cyclecar club was established in December of that year.  Chicago to New York Auto Race, circa 1913.  The Byron Collection, 93.1.1.496.  The Museum of the City of New York.
Byron Collection, 1913 - The Museum of the City of New York

1913  Chicago to New York Auto Race. While information about this event is elusive, the back of the print includes some handwritten notes about the vehicle depicted. It is a 1913 Imp Cyclecar with two cylinders, 10 to 12 horsepower, and a maximum speed of 50 miles per hour. It sold new for $375. Cyclecars -- simple, economical vehicles that worked on the same principles as a bicycle -- were relatively new in 1913, and a New York-based cyclecar club was established in December of that year. Broken chains led to catastrophic accidents and hastened the acceptance of Fords and other automobiles.

Title: Automobile parked in cedar tree arch, Pacific Highway, Washington, circa 1928.  Photo by Clyde Banks.  Photographic postcard.  
Negative Number: UW18448.  Washington Postcard Collection.  Repository: University of Washington Libraries. Manuscripts, Special Collections, University Archives Division. 
Contributor: University of Washington Libraries. Manuscripts, Special Collections, University Archives Division.
Clyde Banks, 1928 - University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections

1928 

Invoice: Indianapolis Chain and Stamping Co., Indianapolis, IN.  Bill for bicycle chain purchase by Henry Ford from Accession #1, The Fair Lane Papers.  Date: 5/28/1896
ID: 64.167.1.21  

Hyperlink to Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village.

May 28, 1896  The bicycle chain that changed the world was purchased by Henry Ford for $2.50 plus a 35-cent C.O.D. fee. One week later he drove his Quadricycle down the streets of Detroit for the first time and founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903. The gasoline-powered buggy ran on four, 26-inch bicycle tires, and the 10-foot chain linked the engine to the rear wheels. The Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village celebrates the inventions of Ford, Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers and Buckminster Fuller.


ACCIDENTS

G.H. Atkin, Certificate No. 140, May 14, 1900.
Reports at the corner of Jackson and State Strets, riding east, a young man on bicycle attempting to get out of way of pedestrian, got in front of my vehicle. I rang my bell repeatedly, but he did not seem to notice me. My vehicle struck his wheel and damaged same. I dismounted and ascertained he was not hurt.

New York City's distinctions include the first bikeway, the first police bike patrols, and also the first car-bicycle collision on May 30, 1896.

Charles Duryea is credited with introducing the drop-frame on his Sylph bicycles first produced in Chickopee, Mass. After building the first successful automobile in 1893, Charles and Frank Duryea became the first American automakers, producing 13 vehicles in Peoria, Illinois three years later.

1890, Rouse Duryea Cycle Co., of Peoria, is incorporated. Charles contracts in the Springfield, MA area to have his Sylph bicycle built.
"Young Johnnie Steele has an Oldsmobile . . ." begins a song that many can hum today. Its refrain, "Come away with me Lucile . . ." was shocking for its inviting suggestiveness in 1905, and the song became a national hit for Morphy, who might have been the first one-name pop star in American music history. Gus Edwards composed the song and Vincent Bryan penned the immortal lyrics. It was published by M. Witmark & Sons on New York's Tin Pan Alley in 1905.

1895   Ransom Eli Olds, a manufacturer of stationary gasoline engines teams up with Frank Clark, the son of a carriage maker, to build a self-contained, gasoline-powered carriage. Your great grandfather's Oldsmobile was born when the Olds Motor Vehicle Company was founded 1897. It became a division of General Motors in 1908 and has 2,801 dealerships across the U.S.

May 8, 1905   Oldsmobile sponsors the first trans-continental automobile race from New York City to Portland, Oregon, matching a pair of new Curved Dash models. Dwight Huss and Milford Wigle arrive 45 days later.

December 12, 2000   General Motors announces it will discontinue the Oldsmobile line. Massive advertising and quality products could not shake the brand's stodgy image of "Your father's Oldsmobile," so America's first and oldest automaker will join the "boneshaker" and the "ordinary" in transportation museums. The last Oldsmobile to carry the brand will be the 2002 Bravada Sport Utility Vehicle.

This is a 1902 Curved Dash Oldsmobile plowing through deep mud on a road that probably was quite common in those days. Of course, when this mud dried out, the road became incredibly rough. The Olds Motor Vehicle Co. was organized in Lansing in 1897 and was Michigan's first automobile company. Oldsmobile became part of General Motors Corp. in 1908.
National Automotive History Collection,
Detroit Public Library

1902  Reality was as far from romanticism at the turn of the century as it is today. When roads dried out they became lines of rock-hard ruts that were as difficult for early cars like this Curved Dash Oldsmobile as they were for bicycles.

A Curved Dash Oldsmobile, produced in 1901, drives into a Lansing, Mich., park in 1997 as part of the automaker`s 100th anniversary.  Photo by Dale Atkins, Associated Press.
Photograph by Dale Atkins, AP

1997  A Curved Dash Oldsmobile, produced in 1901, drives into a Lansing, Mich., park in 1997 as part of the automaker`s 100th anniversary. The Curved Dash built from 1900 to 1904 was the first car to carry the name Oldsmobile. With a 66-inch wheel-base it weighed about 650 pounds. It was powered by a one-cylinder, seven-horsepower engine and cost $650. It was the first car built using a progressive assembly system. The company produced 425 vehicles in 1901, 2,500 in 1902, 4,000 in 1903 and 5,508 in 1904. For a time the Curved Dash Runabout was the best-selling model in the United States.

July 4, 1904  Corvallis got its first car when Mark Rickard, the first person to own an automobile in Benton County, drove into town in a shining, 2-cylinder REO touring car that cost $1,450. It had a painted wooden body, varnished wood fenders, a wicker trunk and leather upholstery, but no top -- that and the windshield cost extra. The starting crank was positioned on the side of the car, so, in the event it started forward more quickly than intended, no one would be run over. According to Rickard, the car traveled about 20 miles an hour, and got 10 miles to the gallon. Car owners often purchased their gasoline at drug stores. Usually in pints or quarts, and never more than a gallon at a time. The REO was built by Ransom Eli Olds who resigned from his own Olds Motor Co. in 1904 after disagreements with financial backers. His REO Motor Car Company outsold Oldsmobile in 1905 and 1906 and continued building cars until 1936 and trucks until 1975. One of his most successful models was the stepvan used by police and deliverymen and immortalized in silent films, the REO Speedwagon.

The Snohomish cedar stump is located just south of the I-5 Arlington, Washington interchange on the east side of State Highway 2.  This two-lane stretch of road was the original route of the Pacific Highway between Seattle and Bellingham and the Canadian border.  Hyperlink to an amazing collection of Drive Through Tree Postcards, Photographs, and Stereoviews.
The giant red western cedar of Snohomish County, Washington measured 25 feet in diameter and was estimated to be 1,250 years old. Cover of a linen finish, Curt Teich folder postcard, published by Lipschutz & Katz in Portland, Oregon. This card was mailed in July, 1935. One collector has 17 different views of this tree online.

Next: 1897
Also: Roads


See 19th Century Bicycle News for a selected bibliography and historical resources online, or use the links to find other sites of interest.


Copyright © 2001  Dennis Cowals
All rights reserved.